(Last Updated on : 08-10-2010)
The eco parks, spread all over India have been playing the most crucial role in preserving the rich Indian wildlife. Almost all the states of India have established eco parks for the conservation of the natural resources and Gujarat is one of the most notables, amongst them. The state of Gujarat houses a few popular and important eco parks and the Gujarat Eco Parks are serving purpose of keeping the natural habitats intact for the endangered and critically endangered flora and fauna species. The Gir National Park is the most prominent eco park in Gujarat.
The naturalists and ecologists of Gujarat and its surrounding areas started taking proper initiatives to established eco parks in the state, during the middle half of the twentieth century. After the Independence of India, the trend of decline in flora and fauna increased, mainly because of increasing deforestation. The Gir National Park was established in the year 1965 with a view to preserve the rich animal populations.
Lions are the prime attraction in the Gujarat eco parks and the other important animal species include Deer, Nilgai (Blue Bull), Wild Boar, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Rusty-Spotted Cat, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Indian Pangolin, Ratel, Spotted Deer (Chital), Sambar, Barking Deer, Blackbuck, Chousingha, Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Common Langur, etc. There are several important and notable reptile species found in the Gujarat eco parks as well and they include the Snakes, Tortoise, Crocodiles, Turtles, etc.
The Gujarat eco parks are the preserver of a great variety of plant species. The natural vegetation in these parks is remarkable and the plant species include several medicinal and commercial plants. The Gujarat eco parks also provide habitat to a large number of bird species that count more than six hundred. The most important and notable bird species found in the Gujarat eco parks include the Indian Peafowl, Grey Francolin, Painted Francolin, Rock Bush Quail, Black-rumped Flameback, Indian Grey Hornbill, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Indian Roller, Plum-headed Parakeet, Sirkeer Malkoha, Pied Cuckoo, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Indian Pitta, Rufous Treepie, Large Cuckooshnkc, Jungle Myna, etc. Among these, some of the species are endemic and can be found in the Gujarat eco parks only.
The Gujarat eco parks are quite famous for being major tourist attractions. They attract tourists from all over the world. The nature lovers mainly visit these eco parks for getting relief from their daily busy routine and also for spending a calm and peaceful time on the lap of the nature. The tourists can also enjoy various exciting activities like elephant riding, horse riding, boat riding, Jeep safari, etc. The Gujarat eco parks are serving both the purpose of preserving the rich wildlife of the state and promoting eco-tourism.